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May 172010

We all know how tough it is out in the employment market today. If you’re looking for a job, you need to go beyond the standard CV / Resume / Covering letter, the ability to showcase your talent and creativity online gives you a great opportunity to think outside the box and get your name in front of prospective employers.

Here is a fantastic example of how Alec Brownstein an advertising creative in New York did just that – by targeting creative directors in the agencies he wanted to work with in Google AdWords…

He created five ads, got four interviews and ended up with a job at one of the agencies. Total outlay: US$6.

The old stalwarts of recruitment are still important – so don’t throw that CV away just yet, but with up to 80% of employers looking online to source talent you’d be mad to ignore the potential. Go on, get creative… and let us know how you get on in the comments :-).

Apr 232010
Job Seekers

Image by John McNab via Flickr

Finding a job in today’s employment market is hard work. To increase your chances of success, it pays to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and a well-thought out plan of how you’re going to go about getting it before you dive in.

1. Know what you want

If you want to find the right job, the first thing you need is a clear idea of the area you want to work in. This could be a broad career discipline… like marketing, accounts or computer programming; or maybe you want to work in a particular industry, like pharmaceuticals, food or manufacturing. If you don’t really know what you want to do, try making a list highlighting the things you like doing, or that you feel are particular strengths. Now look at your list, and consider what sort of career might dovetail with your list of preferences and strengths.

Once you have a high level idea of the area you’d like to work in, refine it a step further by researching various job titles in your area of interest to see which roles are a good fit with your skill set, your temperament and your personal development goals… you want something fulfilling that will stretch and challenge you, and that will allow you to grow and progress.

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Mar 262010

image Sometimes the old ways really are still the best.

When it comes to job hunting it’s easy to get beguiled by the shiny-new allure of the Internet.

Online jobs boards list a whole host of vacancies in easy to navigate, searchable categories. They make short-listing suitable jobs a breeze, and will even notify you by e-mail when new jobs are posted that match your chosen keywords.

Professional web-based social networks like LinkedIn, and even less formal networks like Facebook and Twitter let you highlight your range of skills and expertise, and can act as a sort of living, breathing CV, helping you to connect with potential employers and giving you the inside track on upcoming vacancies.

There’s no doubt that the internet is an invaluable resource when it comes to your quest for a new job… but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only show in town.

The internet doesn’t replace traditional job-seeking tools and techniques, it serves to augment and enhance them. It ads several strings to the proverbial bow, but if you’re focussing all of your job seeking efforts online, you could be missing out on some of the best job opportunities out there.

Newspapers and periodicals

Newspapers… local, regional and national… can be excellent sources of new vacancies, and not all of the companies listing their jobs in newspapers will necessarily be advertising online. It’s always worth checking both regular newspaper listings and you’ll find specialist job newspapers available in most areas. Magazines focussed on your particular area of interest may also dedicate a section to ads for job vacancies.

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Nov 222009
Lost: Celtic Tiger

Image by jaqian via Flickr

In a few short years the employment market has been turned on its head. From a position that was biased in favour of candidates during the halcyon days when the Celtic Tiger roared, job seekers today find themselves facing an employment market that’s very much skewed towards the employer.

With a broader selection of  candidates employers can afford to be choosy, and more demanding. It’s not unusual today for employers to include a long list of requirements in their job descriptions, things like a certain amount of experience in a particular industry sector, knowledge of an obscure programming language and fluency in a particular language. With so many people applying for every job advertised at the moment there’s a fairly good chance they’ll tick all of their boxes.

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Nov 022009
job hunting

Image by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr

Looking for work in a suppressed economy can be more than just an uphill struggle… it can be a soul-destroying experience. Unless you approach it with the right attitude, the inevitable knock-backs will chip away at your self-confidence and erode your self belief to dangerously low levels.  It’s a vicious circle… if you don’t believe in yourself, what are the chances of an employer believing that you’re the right person for the job?

Staying strong and maintaining your focus in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds can be difficult. It’s important to remember that not getting a particular job, or even an interview, isn’t the end of the world… nor is it necessarily a negative reflection of your skills, ability or experience relative to the role. There are literally thousands of things that influence an employers decision on who and who not to hire. In an incredibly over-populated labour market employers are inundated with tidal wave of applications for practically every vacancy they advertise. Not getting a job offer at the end of the process is the de-facto standard when it comes to job-hunting, and in a recession it’s ten times worse.

If you’re looking for work, and are starting to lose your enthusiasm, here are a few things you can try to help keep your spirits up when the inevitable knock-backs come.

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